World Malaria Day 2024

World Malaria Day 2024 - "Health Equity, Gender and Human Rights"

World Malaria Day is an annually established global call to raise awareness of the fight against malaria among those most affected by the disease, such as pregnant women. In 2024, it takes place on April 25 with the headline "Health Equity, Gender and Human Rights".

Malaria is spread by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Anyone can get malaria however, most cases occur in people living in or traveling to tropical or subtropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America where malaria is common.

Adults who have survived several malaria infections during lifetime may become partially immune to severe or fatal malaria but malaria in pregnancy remains a widespread problem in endemic areas. Due to the changes in the immune system during pregnancy and the presence of a new organ (the placenta) with new binding sites for parasites, pregnant women lose some of their immunity to malaria infection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria infections were present in 32% of pregnancies in 38 African countries with moderate to high transmission in 20211.

Malaria infection during pregnancy poses risks to mother and fetus, as infection may cause severe outcomes such as preterm delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, miscarriage (death of a fetus during the first two trimesters), stillbirth, and neonatal and maternal death. A particular risk exists for women in their first and second pregnancy and for HIV-positive women.

Early and accurate diagnosis is essential to monitor and manage malaria effectively. Diagnosis of malaria by microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is recommended by WHO2 for all patients with suspected malaria before they are given treatment.

Due to the risk of progression to severe disease, laboratory parameters such as glucose, hemoglobin, transaminases, bilirubin, creatinine or cystatin C, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and lactate dehydrogenase should be determined to initiate the appropriate therapy.

1. World Malaria Report (2022). Available at: (Accessed May 26, 2023).
2. WHO guidelines for malaria [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021 Feb 16-. Available from: